Pedestrianisation of Palm Jumeirah to start next year

The long-awaited pedestrianisation of the trunk of Palm Jumeirah is expected to get under way next year.

The Palm Promenade will stretch for 1.5 kilometres along the island’s trunk, with pedestrian bridges connecting the area’s 30 apartment buildings with Al Ittihad Park, Palm West Beach and the Golden Mile-Galleria.

The idea is to create an urban community area that is connected to a growing number of retail, dining and entertainment facilities on The Palm.

The developer has had to deal with a number of logistical challenges in pedestrianising what are currently busy service roads.

“We had to go into the details of the details,” said Ali Rashid Lootah, the Nakheel chairman.

“We will be creating a mock up of the pedestrian area, a couple of hundred metres long, so residents can see what the benefits of the plan are likely to be. That will be ready by the end of Q1.

“We want to cause minimal disturbance to people’s lives but it will involve some construction.”

The pedestrian bridges and conversion of service roads will also take some of the pressure off the main trunk road of the Palm, which is becoming busier as more hotels, shops and restaurants open on the man-made island. “I think Nakheel has to free some movement on and off the Palm,” said Matthew Green, the head of research at CBRE.

“The trunk is already a very busy road and that is before the opening of The Pointe next year and Nakheel Mall in 2018.

“Pedestrian bridges will free the trunk of pedestrian crossings, lights and speed bumps, which will increase the speed of traffic flow.”

Follow The National’s Business section on Twitter